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Small waves reach Japan after Chile quake, no injuries

    People walk along the coast after it was destroyed by an earthquake-triggered tsunami in the coastal town of Coquimbo

TOKYO » Small tsunami waves reached the Japanese coast Friday morning, one day after a magnitude 8.3 earthquake struck offshore Chile.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said a wave of 31 inches was recorded in the port of Kuji in Iwate prefecture, part of the same northeast region hit by a much larger and deadly tsunami in March 2011.

No injury or damages have been reported from the waves, but some coastal towns have issued evacuation advisories as a precautionary step.

The agency issued a tsunami advisory before dawn Friday for Japan’s entire Pacific coast, from Hokkaido in the north to Okinawa in the south.

Agency official Yohei Hasegawa said the waves reached northern Japan first and were moving toward the southwest. He said the agency expects the swelling of the waves would continue for a while and could go as high as 40 inches, and urged residents to stay away from the coast.

Smaller waves have been detected across the country, up to 20 inches in Erimo on Hokkaido and 8 inches in Fukushima prefecture, home to the nuclear power plant destroyed by the 2011 disaster.

The northern Japanese coasts, especially those in Iwate, have been affected by tsunami induced by earthquakes near Chile in the past. In 1960, a tsunami exceeding 16 feet hit the area, leaving 139 people dead.

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